Indias Tata Steel Ltd. has shut its Rio de Janeiro
office, which was used as a trading desk for export and import
The move was part of a global
cost-cutting program at the Mumbai-based steelmaker, local
market participants said. The company earlier this year had
announced plans to cut staff in the Persian Gulf (
amm.com, April 4).
But a Tata Steel spokesman
denied the claims. The company has been "reconfiguring its
export sales structure" and "focusing much more on sales of
material made by Tata Steel" when selling outside its home
markets, he said.
"These changes are not intended
to reduce our sales to South Americarather the opposite,"
the spokesman said. "We will be reinvigorating our presence in
South America through our representation in São
Paulohandling our sales into Brazil(as well as)
Lima, (Peru); Bogotá, (Colombia); and Panama."
The move implies that Tata Steel
will reduce simple trading businesses in South America and
focus more on selling its own material to the region.
The Rio de Janeiro office mainly
handled imports of flat-rolled steel products from third
parties to Brazilian customers, as well as imports of products
in the oil and gas sector and some flat steel exports, local
Activities havent been
affected in Mexico, where Tata Steel has an office focusing on
imports of steel products made by the companys plants in
Europe, sources said.
"It seems the impact was more on
offices which acted as trading (companies)," one market
participant close to Tata Steel told AMM sister
publication Steel First.
A second source close to the
company agreed. "They will be chasing longer-term business with
select clients," he said. "This is the real purpose of the
changes, and it would be wrong to characterize them as merely
cost-cutting or as a reduction in their South American
A version of this article was
first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.